FOLLOWING the launch of its laundry franchise sales six months ago, Spanish start-up Mr Jeff continues to gain momentum franchising its on-demand laundry services across Asia using an app which customers can download to avail of laundry and drycleaning services without leaving home.
The Philippines has become one of Mr. Jeff’s most important regional markets concomitant to its decision to focus on international expansion in Asia.
In a matter of weeks since its introduction to the country, Mr. Jeff sold 60 franchises in strategic locations with four Mr. Jeff laundry hubs already operational in Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Fairview and Congressional Avenue Quezon City. Eight more are expected to open in Paranaque, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Manila, Taguig and Sta. Rosa by December this year.
Mr Jeff’s convenient, high-quality services are a perfect fit for busy people who are short on time and are among the company’s most loyal customers around the world. By using the app or website, customers can choose the exact location, time, and day of pick up; a driver visits the customer’s house, picks up the items and delivers them, cleaned and folded or ironed, in just 48 hours.
Moving forward- a change in corporate name to Jeff, super app
From having an innovative franchise business model as a laundry and dry cleaning home delivery service, Mr. Jeff announced the change of the corporate brand name to Jeff, taking the first step to becoming a super services app.
The reason for this new name comes from a transition in business model, which incorporates new verticals to become a multiservice platform or “super app”, offering users everything they need on a daily basis with just one click. This will be available through the platform which will bring the different care and wellness services together under the banner, "The Good, Good Life", and will place the day-to-day needs of customers at their disposal.
According to Eloi Gómez, CEO and co-founder of Jeff, “Our objective from day one has been to add value to the customer and we believe that we can do it, not just by washing and ironing their clothes, but also by offering them allied services they may need.”
The other vertical being developed is dedicated to hairdressing and beauty, which was announced last June under the name ‘‘Beauty Jeff’’, which opened its first salon in Argentina last October 30. In addition, Jeff announces its fitness services, Fit Jeff. Both verticals will be launched in November in the Philippineswhich will be a great opportunity for investors in the country.
In this way, each of the different verticals will be included within “Jeff”, but will also have their separate brand name and entity. The laundry and dry cleaning home delivery service will continue to be called Mr Jeff.
“We did not want to disassociate ourselves from the reputation that we have achieved in the market with Mr Jeff. Therefore, it has been decided that each new business vertical incorporates the word “Jeff”, so that the new business lines are easily identifiable with our brand,” says Gomez. “One of the reasons why we have seen so much interest in Mr Jeff franchises is because we offer the benefits of low investment fees and the prospect of owning a profitable business’.
Jeff aims to sell more than 150 franchises by the end of the year in other parts of Asia.
The Spanish company Jeff is a startup that was founded in 2015. The business was established in Valencia, Spain, by Eloi Gómez, Adrián Lorenzo and Rubén Muñoz, three Spanish entrepreneurs under 30.
The company already operates in more than 32 countries in Asia, LATAM, Africa and Europe, offering its users convenient solutions through its app, website and stores. It began as a laundry and dry cleaning home delivery platform called Mr Jeff, but it is currently in an expansion process in which beauty and fitness services, Beauty Jeff and Fit Jeff, will soon be added in addition to the laundry service.
The app is available on Android and iOS devices and offers a network of franchises that completely changes traditional business models. Jeff is undertaking an international expansion process with more than 1,780 stores sold worldwide including low investment franchise opportunities in the Philippines.
JAKARTA, 24th June 2019 – SweetEscape, the AI-driven photography platform, announced today that it raised US$6 million in Series A round funding, co-led by Openspace Ventures and Jungle Ventures with participation from Burda Principal Investments and existing investors.
The fresh round of financing will be used to develop its AI technology and to strengthen their presence across Asia. Headquartered in Jakarta, the Company currently has over 100 employees across Jakarta, Singapore and Manila and the Company plans to double the team size by the end of 2019.
“Our ultimate mission is to empower the photographers’ community while providing consumers with affordable access to quality photos anywhere around the world. I have been a photographer for the past 20 years. 70% of a photographer’s time is spent not taking photos," David Soong, CEO and Founder of SweetEscape said.
SweetEscape was founded in 2017 by Soong and Emile Etienne, who were also the founders of Bridestory, Southeast Asia’s largest wedding marketplace platform, which was recently acquired by Tokopedia. The founders’ vision is to build a global photography platform that will bring accessibility and change the way consumers appreciate memories and photographers globally manage their business. SweetEscape has managed to scale to over 500+ cities across 100+ countries globally with thousands of photographers in their network within the past two years.
“We started SweetEscape to address a problem in the Travel photography segment but as we continue to scale, we started to observe a broader usage of our platform beyond travel. The growth in non-travel (birthdays, baby showers, graduations, family photoshoots and others) have consistently exceeded our expectations. With this new funding and the support of the investors, we will focus on strengthening our foothold in Asia while building our presence in new markets around the world," Emile Etienne, COO and Founder of SweetEscape said .
"Our platform makes their life’s easier - with us handling 80% of the photographer’s workflow and post-production - increasing photographers’ productivity and income and allowing them to pursue their passion. To do this, our goal is to leverage AI image processing technology to accelerate and automate the post-production process”. The Company is focused on being the first AI imaging technology in the region to lead the innovation and the transformation in this US$80 billion photography industry," Soong added.
The business was first established to solve a very simple problem, which is to allow consumers to discover local photographers while traveling and to ensure the memories are captured by locally curated professional photographers. Today, SweetEscape has serviced thousands of customers across hundreds of countries and the bookings have more than quadrupled since launching in 2017.
“Sweet Escape is addressing a huge consumer shift in behavior towards the experience economy and we look forward to fully supporting the SweetEscape team in creating a deeper technology platform to extend their value globally," Hian Goh, Partner at Openspace Ventures added.
SweetEscape has also started moving into the business photography segment, providing food photography, real-estate photography, headshots and more - servicing a growing portfolio of regional and global clients that includes WeWork, P&G and HSBC. The Company aims to provide a very seamless experience for local business owners to create quality visual content for their businesses and allowing them to scale more efficiently through better imaging.
“Given our multiple successful investments in the travel space and also software enablement of freelancers – we could clearly see the immense growth opportunity ahead to solve the gaps for consumers seeking experiences, and photographers seeking efficiency globally. The founders’ backgrounds makes them perfect to build this business and we are excited to be part of the journey," Amit Anand, Managing Partner at Jungle Ventures said.
SweetEscape is at the forefront of the increasingly dynamic travel and photography industry. With a tap of a finger, customers can book a photo session in less than a minute, edited photos can then be downloaded through the app within 48 hours.
ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIPS
Openspace Ventures focuses on Series A and B investments in technology companies based in Southeast Asia. Key areas of investment for Openspace Ventures include fintech, healthtech, edutech, consumer applications and cloud-based solutions. Openspace Ventures is currently investing its second fund and has approximately US$225 million in total committed capital. Openspace has invested in 25 companies, including Go-Jek; Halodoc; Love, Bonito; Topica; CXA, FinAccel, and Pathao.
Jungle Ventures is a Singapore based Venture Capital Firm that invests in and helps build tech category leaders from Asia. At Jungle Ventures, we strive to be the first to champion teams that have the ambition of building long-lasting, impactful companies. Our network and partnerships has empowered many bold entrepreneurs, with the help of technology, to transform humanity for the better. Jungle has a dedicated team of operating partners and functional experts to enable companies scale across growth markets in Emerging Asia.
Burda Principal Investments is part of Hubert Burda Media, which is headquartered in Munich. Burda has been a pioneer in adopting digital technology and is a trusted partner for the long-term success of digital business. With DLD (Digital, Life, Design) Hubert Burda Media has established a global network on innovation, digitization, science and culture with conferences around the world. Burda Principal Investments is the company’s unit to provide growth capital to digital ventures in the Unites States, Europe, and Asia.
SweetEscape is an AI-driven photography platform that offers photoshoots for any occasion in over 500 cities in 100 countries globally for both consumer and businesses. With thousands of photographers under our network, we empower the photographer community by providing an end-to-end infrastructure including post production for the photographers to pursue their passion while addressing the rising demand for quality visual content to consumers and businesses.